Introduction: Redneck MIDI Sustain Pedal - DIY
The great secreat of sustain pedals for electronic keyboards is that they are just on-off switches. That is, when you press the pedal, two wires are connected. That's it. Now suppose you are in the mood for composing and playing, and you realize that your pedal is somehow missing. This instructable shows how to make a temporary (but working!) MIDI pedal out of things around you. No tools, experience or ability required !
You will need:
1. An empty CD box
2. 3-5 Paperclips
3. Some wires
4. 1/4" jack/adapter with cable
5. Duck tape
6. Plasticine cat to oversee you activities
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Step 1: Attach Paper Clips to Make It Bouncy
1. Take an empty CD box and remove the label.
2 .Put a bent paper clip inside, as shown.
3. Tape it to the box with duck tape.
Now if you try to close it, it will bounce back, like a pedal. The problem is that it will snap closed if you press hard enough. We resolve this problem in the next step.
Step 2: Make It a Pedal
1.Take your favorite tool (scredriver, knife, ruler, fork) and remove those little bits on the cover that make it snap and lock closed. There are usually four of them.
2.Now press on the cover and see if it bounces back with enough force.
3.Add more paperclips on the inside to your satisfaction.
Note that you probably won't get enough force to sustain the weight of your foot, unless you have really hardcore paperclips.
Step 3: Attach the Wires
1. Now take some wire (any wire will do, I found some speaker wires) and strip them using your favourite tool (i.e., teeth).
2. Firmly attach a paperclip to each wire by twisting, wrapping around, tying a knot, etc. (just don't solder =)
3. Now duck tape the wires with paperclips to the CD box so that the paperclips touch when the box is closed, and don't touch when it's open.
Step 4: Attach the Jack
1. Look around for a 1/4" jack with wires, or an adaptor with a cable. I found an RCA to 1/4" adaptor, so I am sacrificing an RCA cable.
2. Strip the other end of the cable with 1/4" jack
3. Attach the wires from your new pedal by twisting.
4. Use duck tape to insulate and firmly attach the wires to each other.
Step 5: Plug in and Enjoy
Try your new pedal and have fun !
Note: it is impossible for you to ever screw up anywhere in this instructable. If you "short" the wires, you will simply get a pedal which is always pressed, which might be useful or not depending on the style of your music. So you and your instrument are safe, unless you try to somehow plug the pedal into an electricity socket while holding the wires.